Subshrubs or shrubs, 10-80 cm (much branched from woody caudices, aerial stems sometimes dying back). Stems erect and slender or short and branched, prominently striate-angled, glabrous, eglandular. Leaves (reduced) proximal often withered and absent at flowering; sessile; blades oblanceolate to narrowly oblong, 5-10(-25) × 1-3(-7) mm (thin), bases narrowed, margins entire or finely serrate (teeth aristate), faces eglandular, not resinous (distal reduced to linear or oblong scales). Heads usually borne singly (terminal on slender branches). Involucres broadly campanulate to hemispheric; staminate 5-9 mm, pistillate 9-14 mm. Phyllaries narrowly lanceolate, 2-6 mm (not keeled), medians green or brown, margins scarious, apices acute or acuminate (erose, abaxial faces glabrous, eglandular). Staminate florets 20-30; corollas 4.5-6 mm. Pistillate florets 20-30; corollas 3-5 mm. Cypselae 3-5 mm, strongly 5-10-nerved, papillose-roughened, glandular; pappi 15-20 mm (often brownish). 2n = 18. Flowering Apr-Jul. Dry sandy plains; 500-2000 m; Ariz., Colo., Kans., N.Mex., Okla., Tex., Utah; Mexico (Chihuahua, Durango, Sonora). Baccharis wrightii is recognized by its bushy, broomlike habit, stems woody only at bases, relatively small, non gland-dotted leaves, early flowering period, heads borne singly, conspicuous, brownish pistillate pappi, and relatively large, strongly nerved cypselae.
FNA 2006, Powell 1998, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Common Name: Wright's baccharis Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub Wetland Status: FACU General: Subshrub to shrub, from much branched woody base, 10-80 cm; stems erect and slender to short and branched; striate-angled, glabrous. Leaves: Proximal often withered and absent at flowering, sessile, blades oblanceolate to narrowly oblong, 5-10 mm by 1-3 mm, narrowed bases, margins entire or finely serrate, not resinous. Flowers: Borne singly, involucres broadly campanulate to hemispheric, staminate 5-9 mm, pistillate 9-14 mm; narrowly lanceolate phyllaries 2-6 mm, medians green or brown; scarious margins, apices acute or acuminate; staminate florets 20-30; corollas 4.5-6 mm; pistillate florets 20-30; corollas 3-5 mm. Fruits: Cypselae, 3-5 mm, strongly 5-10 nerved; papillose roughened; pappus 15-20 mm, often brownish to purplish brown. Ecology: Found on sandy, limestone, gravelly or saline soils from 5,000-6,000 ft (1524-1829 m); flowers May-July. Notes: Distinguished by its bushy, broomlike habit, woody stems only at the base, relatively small, non-glandular leaves and the brownish-purplish-brown pappus. Ethnobotany: Used as a ceremonial emetic and as a defense against venereal disease. Etymology: Baccharis is named for Bacchus, the god of wine, wrightii is named for Charles Wright (1811-1885), an American botanical collector. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley, 2010